5 Ways to Stop Your Doll Clothes From Fraying

how to finish raw edges of fabric

When you're sewing doll clothes, one thing that's never talked about enough is what to do with the raw edges. More specifically, how to stop the fabric from fraying. Working on such tiny clothes can be frustrating because a small rip in a fabric can ruin your work, let alone a fabric that frays. But have no fear, because I found 5 ways to prevent your doll's clothes from fraying for good.

But first, why does fabric fray?

A fabric frays when the fibers in the fabric become loose. This happens when the fabric is cut, torn, or worn over time; the constant fabric manipulation causes the fibers to loosen and come apart. And once it starts to unravel, your clothes will fall apart, no matter how clean your stitches are, so it's always important to seal your raw edges.

1. Choosing the Fabric

Fabric comes in a lot of different types; some tend to fray more than others. I mostly group them into two: one that frays and one that doesn't. Choosing the right fabric eliminates the problem of fraying altogether. This is perfect for beginners, as they don't need to worry about raw edges coming apart and can just focus on sewing the clothes. The only downside to this is that it limits the fabric we can work on.

When selecting fabrics for your doll's clothes, it's important to choose fabric that is tightly woven and has a smooth texture, like cotton or polyester. These fabrics are less likely to fray than the more delicate ones, like silk or chiffon.

2. Overlock Stitch

Of course there will be instances where we do want to work on fabrics that fray; it's inevitable. And for that, what we can do is finish the edges with overlock stitches. You can use a serger or do a zigzag stitch using a sewing machine. But if you don't have any of those fancy machines, you can always sew it by hand. Below is a YouTube video I made showing how to sew an overlock stitch by hand.

Stitching the edges like this not only makes the doll clothes durable and long-lasting, but it also makes them clean and professional-looking. Something to keep in mind if you ever want to sell your doll's clothes.

Now for the downside: overlocking stitches takes a lot of time to do, especially if you're doing it by hand. So if you ever plan on using this method for your next project, sit back and watch some Netflix, because you'll be stitching for hours.

3. Fray Check

Fray check or fabric glue is a liquid seam sealant that many use to secure the threads and prevent fabric from fraying. Just apply a small amount of glue along the edges of the doll clothes and leave it to dry. It will then create a barrier that keeps the fabric intact. This is by far my favorite way to secure the edges because it's quick and easy to apply. It's a lot faster compared to the overlock stitching I mentioned before, and the good news is I can use this on any fabric, which means I can work on any fabric I want.

One thing to note, although I'm not sure if it applies to all brands of fray check, is that it doesn't dry transparent. So the seam sealant you put on the edges is quite noticeable on darker fabrics.

4. White Glue

If you're broke like me or just don't have a fray check on hand, I found using white glue to be an effective seam sealant on the fabric. Just apply it thinly on the raw edges and wait for it to completely dry, and your edges are sealed and secured. But a few washes with water will cause the glue to fade over time, so you might have to reapply it again.

5. Nail Polish

Another cheap alternative I have tried as a seam sealant is using clear nail polish. Just applying a small amount on the edges of the fabric helps stop the thread from unraveling. It's actually much more durable than the white glue, and it doesn't wear off as fast. But the problem is that it can take a long time to dry and it smells bad (after all, it's still nail polish). It can also make the fabric incredibly stiff, so be careful when applying it and only use small amounts.

After Thoughts

In conclusion, there are several things you can do to prevent the fabric from fraying, from selecting the fabric to using different types of seam sealant. By applying one or two of these methods, you can assure your doll clothes will remain in good shape and last for a long time. Just remember to handle your doll clothes with care and to always be gentle when putting them on and off your dolls. With these tips in mind, you can keep your doll's clothes looking great and fray-free.

Thanks for reading!



  1. Very good video, I have been sewing for 60 years, wedding dresses and prom fancy stuff as well as fun baby and everything else. You still taught me something, the hand sewn overcast that looks like serging. I love it, congratulations on doing so well.🥰

  2. Thank you for your information.

  3. Well! I didn't think anyone could teach me anything new about sewing - I've been sewing since I was 5 and I'm 74 now. I've never seen that hand worked overlock stitch before! Well done!! and thank you!